Yes, you did read the title correctly… VEGAN WINE.
There are many sceptics out there that laugh to themselves when they see an orange juice label or a jar of peanut butter boasting vegan credentials, but they are only considering a small part of the story: the product itself.
Products such as orange juice or in our case vegan wine do not grow ready-made on trees pressed, fermented, bottled and marketed. If they did, what a world this would be.
When we talk about veganism and vegan products, we are looking holistically at the journey from ripened grape to first satisfying sip.
We all know fermented grapes don’t contain animal products but what many wine connoisseurs don’t realise is that they are used in the traditional fining process. Animal additives are used to filter unwanted particles from the wine to achieve that much sought-after clarity.
This traditional practice will involve the use of at least one animal product including gelatine, albumin (egg whites), casein (milk protein) and even isinglass (fish bladder).
How does vegan wine differ?
Vegan wine differs because it is sustainable and contains no animal products in any part of the process including the fining. Vegan wines use eco-friendly, ethical alternatives to the traditional methods. Some of the most popular alternatives are:
Bentonite- A type of clay formed from volcanic ash in seawater. This is highly effective at absorbing the small particles present in wine that helps improve its clarity and tone.
Pea Protein- A simple direct substitute for gelatine.
Activated Charcoal- Which has grown in popularity among both vegans and vegetarians in recent years and can be used to soak up unwanted colour, improving the colour and clarity without effecting the flavour.
Natural fining– Wine fines naturally and requires no intervention at all. Traditional methods, which involve animal-based products, were only introduced to speed up this natural process. Leaving well alone is arguably the best choice for the ecologically enlightened customer but can prove more expensive for the winemakers themselves.
There is a growing awareness of how personal choices and lifestyles impact on the environment and how change can lessen the effect of your carbon footprint. As a result, there has been a concerted move away from traditional animal products towards organic and vegan.
The public has a voracious appetite for information and advice on how to do their part in contributing to slowing down and repairing damage caused by global warming. Research indicates a rising trend in the issues of ethical choices from the clothes we wear, the products we use and at a basic level, the food and drink we consume… including our wine.
Which wine is vegan-friendly?
There is no current legislation for alcoholic products to include full lists of the ingredients they use. But increasingly winemakers who are promoting and selling vegan wines state specifically processes used during fining. In choosing your vegan wines look for labelling which clearly displays the vegan credentials of the product. Or alternatively, opt for naturally fined wines that have no intervention in any part of the natural fining process.
Good food and wine are central to celebrating a range of social gatherings, from an intimate dinner for two, to extravagant seminal events in our lives. Vegan wines sacrifice none of the taste and offer all of the fun and flavour of traditionally produced wines. Consider the bonus of knowing that no products derived from animals were used, from the picking of the grape to bottling and labelling, which can only add to your enjoyment of the final bouquet and ultimate satisfaction. A toast to vegan wines…Cheers!!
Check out our range of Vegan wines.